Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Chondrite Magnetism

University of Oxford

Fixed term for 2 years

Reporting to Associate Professor James Bryson, the post holder will be a member of the Planetary Magnetism research group with the responsibility of carrying out research as part of the UKRI Frontier Research Guarantee grant entitled MMESSH (Utilising Meteorite Magnetism to Elucidate Early Solar System History).

The post holder will provide guidance to less experienced members of the research group, including postdocs, research assistants, technicians, and PhD and Masters project students if required.

The post holder will employ a variety of techniques to access these paleointensities, including: petrology using optical and electron microscopy; X-ray diffraction (XRD); thermogravimetric analysis (TGA); I-Xe radiometric dating; bulk paleomagnetic measurements. Together, these methods will identify several meteorites that are likely to have recorded the disk’s magnetic field during impact heating. The ancient paleointensities experienced by these meteorites will then be recovered using bulk paleomagnetic measurements.
The petrology/XRD/TGA will be conducted in partnership with the Natural History Museum, London, where some measurements will be conducted. The I-Xe dating will be performed in partnership with and at the University of Manchester. The remaining petrology/XRD/TGA measurements along with bulk paleomagnetic measurements will be conducted at the University of Oxford. Data synthesis and interpretation, writing presentations and papers, and project management will be conducted at the University of Oxford.

The post holder will utilise impact-heated carbonaceous chondrites as a novel tool to access the intensity of the magnetic field that threaded the protoplanetary disk.

The postholder will manage and conduct research and administrative duties regarding the magnetism and thermal history of impact-heated chondrites as part of the MMESSH grant.

They will use specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment and optimise and adopt any scientific techniques required to access the necessary data.

They will write and publish any relevant scientific research papers on the magnetism and thermal history of impact-heated chondrites and will act as a source of information and advice to other group members on scientific protocols and experimental techniques if required.

About you

You will hold, or be close to completion of (i.e., submitted thesis at the time an offer is made), a relevant PhD/DPhil, together with relevant experience in at least one of the following: Bulk paleomagnetic measurements; Meteorite petrology; Chondrite thermal history; Short-lived radioisotope dating.

You will possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to work within established research programmes.

You will have the ability and desire to learn and understand new experimental techniques and have the ability to manage your own academic research and associated activities in a productive and independent manner.

You must have excellent communication skills including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings.

You will also ideally have experience of independent explicit management of a discrete area of a research project and actively collaborating in the development of research articles for publication.

For further details of the role please see the job description.

The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 16th June 2023.

You will be required to upload a CV and a Supporting Statement as part of your application. Please do not attach any manuscripts, papers, transcripts, mark sheets or certificates as these will not be considered as part of your application.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority candidates, who are under-represented in research posts in the Department.

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